Day two of Heavy Montreal promised a sprinkle of rain and a flood of non-stop metal from the awesome lineup including the likes of Blind Guardian, Hatebreed, Killswitch Engage and headliners Disturbed. On tap for today were interviews with Hansi Kursch of the aforementioned Blind Guardian as well as guitarist Kamron Bradbury of Beartooth.
Upon getting to the media tent and reconnecting with our Finnish photographer friend Teemu we were whisked off to the artist only area by golf cart for the most formal interview setting of the weekend. While we waited for the media people ahead of us to finish up the skies did indeed open with a deluge and we ended up doing our interview with Hansi in a slightly overcrowded trailer out of the rain with industry reps and other media for an audience. Hansi and I had a great chat and much to my surprise he actually remembered our meeting on the 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise. I guess there aren’t too many heavy metal reverends running around the planet after all. That interview will be heard on an upcoming edition of Too Metal For Church.
Once we’d wrapped up our talk with Hansi it was time to catch relative newcomers Beartooth who we’d be chatting with later in the day. The band played the smaller third stage but let me attest to this: the metalcore/hc punks’ had the most crowd-surfing and exuberant moshing of any crowd over the course of the whole weekend, a fact that pleased Kam later on during our chat.
Next up on the agenda was an absolutely crushing set by Hatebreed followed by legendary German power-metal godfathers Blind Guardian. To say that both bands absolutely killed it would, to me, be stating the obvious. In this case we’ll let the pictures do the talking.
The rest of the day fell into place after the Rev’s aforementioned interview with Kam from Beartooth. We got to hang out with the Metal Nation Radio street team including host Matty Grant and associated friends from the MNR Winning Experience featuring ticket winners that broadcast live on Facebook from time to time throughout the festival.
The amazing element about festivals of this quality and length is that just when you think you’ve given a particular band/set your all the next one is up and one is often searching for the energy to keep it all going strong throughout the day; try it when you’re over 50.
As Sunday came to a close I was able to reflect on what an amazing experience it had been to be at Heavy Montreal as a member of the media. The entire festival experience was very well run with the stages running like clockwork and all of the ancillary services being excellent including the great variety of food. For my part those staffing the media tent were always patient and approachable, offering whatever help they might be able to give in a plethora of situations.
I’ll admit to being just slightly exhausted as I skipped out to the subway a little early to avoid the crush of bodies heading off the island and Parc Jean Drapeau. As I approached the metro station a tall young guy with a beard handed me a piece of paper, I took it politely and glanced at it to read the words “The Highway to Hell” with several Bible verses in its four pages. I didn’t give the guy much of a chance when the main throng came through so I stopped, turned on my heel and walked straight up to him. I said, “I am an ordained minister in a traditional denomination.” He interrupted me pointing to the paper, “It’s all true you know.” I looked annoyed and stuck the tract into his shirt pocket. “Here’s some truth brother. You need to start loving and serving people rather than hating and judging them.”
All show photos provided by and used with permission of Evenko
All other photos: Teemu Lavikka
Reverend Rock is host of Too Metal For Church , Monday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. EST and Friday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. EST